Paid advertising has changed drastically over the years especially with the advent of Google AdWords programs in 2000.

One of the advantages to advertising with Google is that everything is measurable, right down to the number of clicks to the number of impressions and the Click through Rate (CTR). With paid advertising through traditional means, it’s not possible to track how many people have seen your ad and decided to check out your website or premises. Another advantage of Google AdWords is that it is cost-effective. You don’t pay a cent until someone clicks on your ads. Even then, you determine how much you are willing to pay. Another very important advantage to paid advertising with Google is that it is high targeted and is focused solely on maximizing your ROI.

Whether you’re starting your first PPC campaign or you can manage a campaign in your sleep, it’s important to avoid these 7 Deadly PPC Sins.

Sin #1: Pride

Don’t be naïve in thinking that your campaign is perfect once set up and does not need to be touched again. Rules are constantly changing and your competition gets bigger by the day. Then there are keywords that are bringing you traffic with high bounce rate…those too need to be monitored. Although things may be running smoothly today, be sure to keep a watchful eye at least once a day to see that your money is being spent wisely.

Sin #2: No A/B Testing

There are no shortcuts in Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Testing is a very important element to PPC advertising. If you skip the testing stage, you’re running ads at half potential. Try testing two ads against each other to see which performs better. Pinpoint the winner and make a version with slight changes. Don’t forget to follow up on the results.

Sin #3: Copying Competition

Being original and standing out from the rest is important in PPC advertising. Copying your competitors’ ad copies will not win you any brownie points. On the other hand, using convincing call-to-actions, juicy verbs and ad copies that create a sense of urgency will help you succeed as well as score you brownie points with consumers and Google alike.

Sin #4: Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is a frowned upon practice in the world of Search. For PPC ads, keyword stuffing crowds the limited space you have for the body of your text and can make your marketing messaging sound unnatural or annoyingly repetitive.

Sin #5: Not Doing Your Homework

It’s important to understand your target audience, their online behavior and what channels they’re active in. This helps you reach your audience where they are with messages they’ll understand. To get a sense of your audience use keyword research tools, such as the Google Keyword Planner.

Sin #6: No Negative Keywords

Negative keywords — search terms you don’t want your ads to show for — assist with your return on investment (ROI), as well as acting like an extra security blanket for your ad campaign. For instance, let’s imagine you own a women’s apparel boutique and you have many different styles of dresses in stock. However you don’t carry wedding dresses, so you would include wedding as a negative keyword. In the event that someone searches for wedding dresses, your advertisement will not show and you will avoid useless clicks and needless expense.

Sin #7: Not Having Proper Landing Pages

It might seem like the easiest strategy to send the traffic to your home page, but it will have a negative impact on the way the ads convert. For best results, you should be using custom landing pages to improve the relevancy of the advertisement. Take the time to have a specific web page created that deals directly with the ad being served on Google AdWords.

Checking for these mistakes should help you determine whether your PPC is sending poor quality traffic to your landing pages… or whether you should hit the landing page optimization books.

About iRISEmedia

iRISEmedia.com is a Toronto digital media agency and SEO company, specializing in Social Media and online marketing. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and social media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.